Wall Street Journal Ranks City College #1

City College August, 2019

https://www.wsj.com/articles/2022-best-colleges-us-rankings-11632245235?page=1

2022 Best Colleges in the U.S.: Harvard, Stanford, MIT Take Top Rankings

Schools with the resources to deal with the fallout from Covid-19 dominated The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education college rankings this year

The rankings also measure the best value among the top 250 schools by dividing each institution’s overall score by its net price. By this measure, the No. 1 school is the of City College  New York, the flagship of the public City University of New York (CUNY) system. The runner-up is another CUNY school, Bernard M. Baruch College, followed by Berea College, a private liberal-arts school in Kentucky that charges students no tuition. (The U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Military Academy, the two service academies on the list, also don’t charge tuition, but because students are obligated to enter active-duty military service upon graduation, these schools aren’t considered for inclusion in the best-value ranking.) Only two of the schools ranked in the top 10 for best value are private universities—Berea and Stanford.

Read more:

Assignment for September 9, 2021

Find two examples of a news story written in the inverted  pyramid style. And two examples written the opposite way with a small detail first.

If you need a refresher look at https://ccnyintroductiontojournalism.com/2021/08/31/reporting-basics-2/


Review the Who,  What, When, Where, Why and How and look at the inverted pyramid and the pyramid.

Just bring these to class and we’ll look at them together. 
Here’s the link for the class and if it’s too confusing, we’ll go back to using the recurring meeting link.

Topic: Introduction to Journalism Time: Sep 9, 2021 02:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting

https://ccny.zoom.us/j/88263678291

Disinformation Vs. Misinformation

CNN Screen shot

Misinformation is information that’s wrong, false or inaccurate. It happens when people make mistakes and write or say something that isn’t true. It could also be incorrect information that is shared to deceive, or maybe not. 

But disinformation is deliberately, false information aimed to mislead you and others. We know now that it is easily spread on social media.

Disinformation is a manipulative tool meant to harm. 

Disinformation we’ve seen recently

30 percent of Republicans have a favorable view of QAnon, according to a YouGov poll. 

45 percent of Republicans say they favor the actions of the rioters at the Capitol according to another YouGov poll.

70 percent of Republicans believe Trump won the election.

40 percent of Americans believe the false notion that COVID-19 was manufactured in a lab in Wuhan China.

Disinformation has a history

Disinformation is not a new phenomenon.  The Russians apparently first used the term dezinformatsiya  in 1923 to describe their effort to manipulate public opinion. It was used by the then KGB, which is now the GRU.  This was basically their term for propaganda, according to Wikipedia. 

English speaking intelligence agencies picked up the term in the 1950’s, according to the Oxford English Dictionary.  (OED)

Governments used disinformation against each other during World War II and during the Cold War.  

The Russians used disinformation in the run up to the 2016 election, according to the Mueller Report. 

 
This is from an article from Poynter, a news literacy organization. 
Jane Lytvynenko, reporter for BuzzFeed News, whose Twitter posts and reporting are required reading for anyone trying to understand this space:

“There’s a direct connection between disinformation and the insurrection on Capitol Hill. The mob was motivated by the false idea of a stolen election, which has traveled across social media for months, amplified by Mr. Trump and his supporters. Courts and election officials alike have rejected the idea of a stolen election, but their hard evidence was no match for the power of viral memes reinforced by lies and half-truths from elected officials. We’ve seen this scenario play out globally, and now it’s playing out in the U.S.”

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/janelytvynenko/disinformation-broke-us

 

New Yorker Reporter Luke Mogelson followed Trump supporters as they forced their way into the U.S. Capitol, using his phone’s camera as a reporter’s notebook.

 

 

 
 

 

COVID Vaccine Misinformation on Facebook and Social Media

Misinformation – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Misinformation
noun

  1. false or inaccurate information, especially that which is deliberately intended to deceive.”nuclear matters are often entangled in a web of secrecy and misinformation”synonyms:disinformation, false information, misleading information, deception; lie, fib, false rumor, trumped-up story, fake news, alternative fact, gossip, red herring, false trail.
  2. Misinformation is false or inaccurate information. Examples of misinformation include false rumors, insults and pranks, while examples of more deliberate disinformation include malicious content such as hoaxes, spearphishing and propaganda.‎

The Center for Counter Digital (CCD) hate compiled a list of 12 people who spread misinformation on social media. All of them seem like reliable experts and the CCD says they are responsible for spreading almost two-thirds of the anti-vaxxer disinformation on social media. Here are a couple of examples.

Screen shot of article Rizza Islam Vaccinate Conspiracy theorist
Anti-Vaxer Joseph Mercola

Read More

BuzzFeed also tracked so-called experts who spread COVID and vaccine disinformation.

Buzz Feed Fake Experts

Read More

Before COVID, Before the Capitol Insurrection, There was the Mueller Report.

The Mueller Report issued by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team documented Russian interference in the U.S. 2016 presidential election.

In February 2018, before the report was issued, the Special Counsel indicted 13 foreign nationals and a Russian “troll farm” connected to the Internet Research Agency or IRA. Facebook disclosed in the fall of 2017 that it sold $100,000 worth of ads to the Internet Research Agency.

How did they use the ads on Facebook and on other social media platforms?

This is from the Mueller Report:

 

“Dozens of IRA employees were responsible for operating accounts and personas on
different U.S. social media platforms. The IRA referred to employees assigned to operate the social media accounts as “specialists.”42 Starting as early as 2014, the IRA U.S. operations included social media specialists focusing on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

The IRA later added specialists who operated on Tumblr and Instagram accounts.44
Initially, the IRA created social media accounts that pretended to be the personal accounts of U.S. persons.

By early 2015, the IRA began to create larger social media groups or public
social media pages that claimed (falsely) to be affiliated with U.S. political and grassroots organizations. In certain cases, the IRA created accounts that mimicked real U.S. organizations.

For example, one IRA-controlled Twitter account, @TEN_ GOP, purported to be connected to the Tennessee Republican Party.

More commonly, the IRA created accounts in the names of
fictitious U.S. organizations and grassroots groups and used these accounts to pose as antiimmigration groups, Tea Party activists, Black Lives Matter protestors, and other U.S. social and
political activists.


Groups (with names such as “Being Patriotic,” “Stop All Immigrants,” “Secured Borders,” and
“Tea Party News”), purported Black social justice groups (“Black Matters,” “Blacktivist,” and
“Don’t Shoot Us”), LGBTQ groups (“LGBT United”), and religious groups (“United Muslims of
America”).
Throughout 2016, IRA accounts published an increasing number of materials supporting the Trump Campaign and opposing the Clinton Campaign. For example, on May 31, 2016, the operational account “Matt Skiber” began to privately message dozens of pro-Trump Facebook groups asking them to help plan a “pro-Trump rally near Trump Tower.”55
To reach larger U.S. audiences, the IRA purchased advertisements from Facebook that
promoted the IRA groups on the newsfeeds of U.S. audience members. According to Facebook, the IRA purchased over 3,500 advertisements, and the expenditures totaled approximately $100,000.56.


During the U.S. presidential campaign, many IRA-purchased advertisements explicitly
supported or opposed a presidential candidate or promoted U.S. rallies organized by the IRA ( discussed below). As early as March 2016, the IRA purchased advertisements that overtly opposed the Clinton Campaign. For example, on March 18, 2016, the IRA purchased an advertisement depicting candidate Clinton and a caption that read in part, “If one day God lets this liar enter the White House as a president – that day would be a real national tragedy.”57
Similarly, on April 6, 2016, the IRA purchased advertisements for its account “Black Matters” calling for a “flashmob” of U.S. persons to “take a photo with #HillaryClintonForPrison2016 or nohillary2016.”

Collectively, the IRA’s social media accounts reached tens of millions of U.S. persons.
Individual IRA social media accounts attracted hundreds of thousands of followers. For example, at the time they were deactivated by Facebook in mid-2017, the IRA’s “United Muslims of America”

Facebook group had over 300,000 followers, the “Don’t Shoot Us” Facebook group had over 250,000 followers, the “Being Patriotic” Facebook group had over 200,000 followers, and the “Secured Borders” Facebook group had over 130,000 followers.61 According to Facebook, in total the IRA-controlled accounts made over 80,000 posts before their deactivation in August 2017, and these posts reached at least 29 million U.S persons and “may have reached an estimated 126
million people.”62
pg. 26

https://www.justice.gov/storage/report.p

New Faces For News Industry

Screen shot of Lester Holt, NBC Nightly News

From Bloomberg News

Struggling News Industry Steps Up Recruitment of Diverse Leaders

By Gerry SmithAugust 23, 2021, 10:00 AM EDT

  •  Houston and Dallas become latest papers to make historic moves
  •  Editors of color face challenges beyond tight newsroom budget

With much of corporate America targeting greater diversity in its management ranks, news companies are taking steps to close the gap, offering a glimpse at what more representative leadership might bring in an industry that has lagged behind.

The Associated Press appointed the first woman and person of color to helm the news agency this month. In Texas, both the Dallas Morning Newsand the Houston Chronicle named their first Black top editors in July. And in TV, Black women now run the news divisions of ABC News and MSNBC for the first time.

relates to Struggling News Industry Steps Up Recruitment of Diverse Leaders
Daisy Veerasingham was appointed executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Associated Press.Photographer: Chuck Zoeller/AP Photo

These leaders are taking over to improve coverage and broaden their audiences at a time of crisis in the industry, with about 300 newspapers closing over the past three years and revenue expected to continue to decline. On top of those challenges, some of these editors say they face other obstacles their predecessors didn’t, like a perception they were promoted not because they were qualified, but because of the color of their skin. 

Their staffs remain over-represented by White journalists. More than three-fourths (77%) of newsroom employees working at newspapers, broadcasters or digital publishers are White, compared with 65% of U.S. workers overall, according to a 2018 analysis by Pew Research Center.

The newspaper industry’s financial troubles have led to years of layoffs and hiring freezes. That’s long served as an excuse for the failure to hire more Black and Hispanic journalists, despite the benefits they bring in helping outlets better reflect their communities, according to Richard Prince, who runs a website that tracks diversity trends in the news business.

“But where there’s a will there’s a way,” he said.

Of the 20 largest U.S. daily newspapers, about half are now led by a woman or a person of color or both, according to Nieman Lab. In 2014, three of the 25 largest newspapers had women as the top editor and 15% of American newspapers had a person of color in one of the top three newsroom roles.

Path to Growth

For newspapers, more diversity could be good for business. Nearly half of Black adults say they follow local news “very closely,” a higher percentage than White or Hispanics, Pew found. Hiring more journalists of color helps newsrooms get away from homogeneous perspectives that can limit their audiences, potentially leading to subscriber growth, the thinking goes. 

MonicaRichardson-McClatchy
Monica RichardsonSource: McClatchy/PRNewswire

Black journalists understand the concerns of the Black community, said Monica Richardson, who was named executive editor of the Miami Herald in December.

“I know what it’s like to drive by a police officer and have that sense of fear on the highway,” she said.

Richardson has been holding “listening sessions” in the Black community around Miami in an attempt to mend fences. Her takeaway: “We have work to do.”

“There was trust that had been broken, either through a story or a lack of presence in covering communities,” Richardson said. “People felt like their stories weren’t being told.”

The push in the news industry comes amid an acknowledgment of the lack of diversity throughout business world. There are about 30 female chief executives officers and 5 Black CEOs running companies in the S&P 500. 

Many news organizations have pledged to hire more journalists of color. Bloomberg News has initiatives to improve representation in terms of gender, ethnicity and race at every level of the newsroom. Gannett Co.released data last year showing its staffs were often more White than the communities they cover and pledged to make its workforce as diverse as the country by 2025.

“Across the nation, newsrooms continue to struggle with a lack of diversity –– especially in leadership ranks, including some of our own,” said Maribel Perez Wadsworth, president of news at Gannett Media. “We must do better.”

‘Not Good Enough’

The Los Angeles Times published an editorial last year apologizing for its past failures to cover race and vowing to hire more minorities. At the time, the paper said 38% of its journalists were people of color, while Los Angeles County was 48% Latino. “We know that is not nearly good enough,” it said. In May the newspaper hiredKevin Merida, who is Black, to lead the newsroom.

The ability for such leaders to direct coverage is substantial. Dean Baquet, an African American, has run the New York Times newsroom for seven years. Last year Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones won a Pulitzer Prize for the 1619 Project, a series of articles looking at the history of the U.S. through the prism of slavery.

Some observers have taken a pessimistic view of the recent promotions, noting that women and people of color have been given leadership roles only after businesses start to decline. 

Black editors say they can bring more racial diversity to their staffs and their audiences. They plan to recruit more journalists of color and make them feel comfortable at the office.

“It’s not only who you hire, but more importantly, what are you doing to ensure your news environments are inclusive?” said Katrice Hardy, who was named executive editor of the Dallas Morning News last month. “Because you could hire me, but the culture and environment will mean that I don’t want to stay.”

Backhanded Compliments

In TV news, Black women in the top jobs often take a special interest in mentoring other Black women journalists because “they don’t want to be the last ones in those positions,” said Ava Thompson Greenwell, a journalism professor at Northwestern University. Only 4% of TV news directors are Black, according to a survey of TV stations from RTDNA/Newhouse School at Syracuse University.

But Black women are also frequently the target of micro-aggressions, such as subordinates who question their competence, refuse to take their orders or offer them backhanded compliments, said Greenwell, who interviewed about 40 Black female journalists for her book “Ladies Leading: The Black Women Who Control Television News.”

“The good news is that they are there,” Greenwell said. “The bad news is they aren’t always afforded the deference they deserve.”

At the Dallas Morning News, which named Hardy as its first woman and Black journalist to be executive editor, the newsroom is 64% White while the community the paper covers is 49% White, according to data provided by the paper. Its newsroom leadership is 9% Hispanic, compared with a coverage area that is 26% Hispanic.

“We got these positions because we worked our butts off and we’re really good journalists,” said Hardy, who helped lead the Indianapolis Star to a Pulitzer Prize this year.

“We didn’t get them because we’re Black and Brown,” she said, “although finally the news industry has seen the need to promote people like us.”

In her previous newsroom jobs, Hardy said she was able to call up members of minority communities and “have conversations with folks who frankly had long stopped wanting to deal with us.” She sees such outreach as critical to the industry’s survival.

“If we do not grow a diverse audience of readers,” she said, “we’re going to die.”

Maria Reeve, the new executive editor of the Houston Chronicle, said she would like her promotion to inspire Black journalists.

“I hope younger reporters see what’s happening and can see that there is a path,” Reeve said.

— With assistance by Jeff Green

Source and The Investigative Reporter

From the Intercept


The Journalist and the Whistleblower

As the government attacks press freedom, reporters must consider their responsibility to sources — and each other.James Risen
April 13 2021, 10:38 a.m.DONATE29

Z8A4694-FBI-DOJ

The Federal Bureau of Investigations headquarters is seen in Washington, D.C., on October 24, 2019.

Photo: Elise Swain/The Intercept

WHEN I BECAME a reporter, I was surprised to discover a trait that I had never before recognized in myself.

People liked to talk to me. They liked to talk to me so much that they often revealed things they weren’t supposed to share. They did so voluntarily.

I noticed this when I was 23 and working in my first job as a reporter at the Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne, Indiana. One day, I was meeting with the director of the Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce, the most pro-business man in town, when he suddenly told me to get into his car and drove me to a factory with no signs or exterior identification. He explained that the building I was looking at was the secret plant of a company trying to hide from regulators and labor unions. A few months later, I was standing in a large crowd of reporters covering a strike at International Harvester, then Fort Wayne’s largest employer, when someone who worked there walked up to me and whispered that I should follow him. When we got to his car, he opened the trunk to reveal boxloads of secret International Harvester documents — and told me to take all of them.Join Our NewsletterOriginal reporting. Fearless journalism. Delivered to you.I’m in

Things like that have continued to happen throughout my career, and I’ve been surprised every time. While I was working on a book about the anti-abortion movement, Joseph Scheidler, one of the nation’s leading anti-abortion extremists, gave me the keys to his Chicago office and told my co-author and me that we could spend an entire weekend going through his personal files by ourselves, with no one else around. We found lots of documents that made him look bad, and I never understood why he let us do it.

I’ve always thought of this strange capability as a trait rather than a skill, because I don’t recall ever doing anything to make it happen. In most fields, such a trait would be modestly helpful. But for an investigative reporter, it is all-important.

Yet for today’s investigative reporters, particularly in the field of national security reporting, being good at getting people to talk can seem like a curse.

In the 21st century, hatred of the press has become bipartisan, and government leak investigations under both Republican and Democratic administrations have altered the landscape for national security reporting. Starting with the George W. Bush administration in the years after 9/11, the federal government has brought criminal charges in nearly 20 cases related to leaks to the press, virtually all of them involving national security matters. In almost all of those cases, it is the sources who have faced criminal charges, not the reporters who published what the sources told them.The fate of modern investigative reporting is now on a collision course with high-tech government leak investigations.

As a result, the fate of modern investigative reporting is now on a collision course with high-tech government leak investigations. Being really good at getting people to tell you government secrets — the key to career success as a national security reporter — now brings great danger to a reporter’s sources.

The arrest and prosecution of a source can lead to a silent sense of guilt and shame. Silent because the reporter cannot publicly acknowledge the source for fear of confirming the government’s case; guilt and shame because the reporter’s news organization rarely does anything to help a source facing federal prosecution. At major newspapers and television networks, there is an unspoken gulf between the reporter, who has a personal relationship with the source, and top managers, who don’t.

The Department of Justice and the FBI consistently exploit this guilt and shame by pointing out, in official court documents in virtually every leak case, the supposed mistakes reporters have made that government agents claim somehow helped them identify the sources of information.

The truth is that the federal government doesn’t need a reporter to make a mistake in order to track down a whistleblower. The government has immense surveillance powers, and those powers are at their most robust when it comes to tracking someone with a security clearance and access to classified information.

Most people who go to work for the government, or even for a government contractor, have only a vague understanding of how much of their privacy and civil rights they are signing away when they get a security clearance. Once the government launches a leak investigation, there are few limits on its ability to track the digital footprint of a suspect working in the national security apparatus.

Most reporters think hard and work tirelessly to protect confidential sources and now widely use encrypted electronic communications. But government leak hunters have the National Security Agency on their side, and reporters don’t.Government leak hunters have the National Security Agency on their side, and reporters don’t.

Yet arresting and prosecuting a source isn’t enough for the Justice Department and the FBI; they also want to make the reporter look bad. That underscores the real goal of leak investigations: They are designed to have a chilling effect on the press, to stop reporters from investigating the government. Embarrass enough investigative reporters and maybe they will stop embarrassing the government.

To their disgrace, the rest of the media often plays along with this governmental shaming project. Rather than recognizing that a source is a whistleblower performing a public service, the press invariably buys into the FBI’s propaganda that the bureau’s agents are investigating a crime and tracking down a traitor.

Press coverage of leak investigations and prosecutions follows a depressingly predictable narrative arc. The whistleblower who is a source for a story is depicted as a criminal who has been cornered and arrested by the heroic FBI, while the investigative reporter who broke the story is described as an accessory to a crime. The press unquestioningly plays up any supposed evidence presented by the government that the reporter made mistakes that were somehow the reason for the whistleblower’s arrest and prosecution.

This professional censure, along with the constant anxiety of knowing that the government is using all its vast power to locate sources, has led many investigative reporters into a period of second-guessing and introspection. Should a reporter who has the natural gift of getting people to tell them secrets keep using that gift if it can put people in prison?

The argument to continue reporting is powerful. Almost everything we know about the conduct of our 20-year forever wars has been made public thanks to aggressive national security reporting. People forget that something as basic as the very existence of the armed Predator drone was classified until legendary journalist Sy Hersh reported that it was being used to kill people in Afghanistan.

Unfortunately, the government’s leak crackdown has made the counterargument — not to keep developing sources and uncovering secrets for fear of putting people at risk — compelling as well. For national security reporters today, being good at your job can make it hard to sleep at night.

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 14:  New York Times reporter James Risen participates in a news conference, where he and other journalists and journalism advocates talked about the Justice Department's pursuit of Risen's confidential sources, at the National Press Club August 14, 2014 in Washington, DC. Risen could face jail or punshing fines for not revealing his source of classified information for his 2006 book that detailed the CIA's efforts against Iran's nuclear program.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

James Risen participates in a news conference where press freedom advocates speak about the Justice Department’s pursuit of Risen’s confidential sources at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 14, 2014.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

I HAVE BEEN thinking a lot about this dilemma recently because of several new developments in the government’s war over leaks.

In January, in the closing days of Donald Trump’s presidency, there was a campaign to convince Trump to pardon WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. That campaign failed; hopeful Assange supporters seemed to ignore the fact that it was the Trump administration that had indicted Assange in the first place.

That was followed by a decision in February by the incoming Biden administration to appeal a ruling by a British court rejecting Assange’s extradition to the United States. For now, Assange remains imprisoned in Britain, but if the Biden administration follows through with his prosecution, it would once again underscore the bipartisan nature of the government’s crackdown on the press.RelatedThe Biden Administration’s Continued Push for Julian Assange’s Extradition Is Bad News for Journalism

The Assange case is particularly troubling because the charges focus on the interactions between Assange and Chelsea Manning, the source of the U.S. military and diplomatic documents that WikiLeaks published a decade ago. If successful, the Assange prosecution could lead the government to prosecute investigative journalists based on the means by which they seek to obtain information from their sources.

In March, meanwhile, Daniel Hale, a former intelligence analyst, pleaded guilty in federal court to disclosing classified information about U.S. drone warfare programs. Arrested in 2019, Hale has been hounded by the government because he helped reveal the truth about the vicious and secretive processes used by the United States to target and kill people around the world with drone strikes.

In addition, a new documentary film was recently released about Reality Winner, a whistleblower who was arrested after revealing classified information showing that Russian intelligence sought to hack into U.S. voting systems during the 2016 presidential election. Her disclosure showed that the U.S. intelligence community knew about the Russian hacking attempts but had not warned the American people or even state election officials. Its significance was detailed in a 2018 Senate report, which revealed that state election officials learned of the Russian hacking threat from press coverage, not the federal government. The Senate report was issued even as the Justice Department was prosecuting Winner for sharing the information.

National_Bird_Still_4

Film still of Daniel Hale from the documentary “National Bird.”

Still: Torsten Lapp/Ten Forward Films

https://theintercept.com/2021/04/13/reality-winner-julian-assange-journalism-whistleblowers/?utm_sourcehttps://theintercept.com/2021/04/13/reality-winner-julian-assange-journalism-whistleblowers/?

New Opportunities

NBCU ACADEMY STUDENT WORKSHOPS

Thursday, April 8th Graduation: What now? 

Every Summer a new class of graduates is thrust into the world – having to make the nerve-wracking transition from academic life to professional life. The global pandemic has added a new wrinkle to the job hunt. Our experts in talent acquisition along with some of our journalists will walk through the do’s and don’ts of the virtual job hunt. Our experts will focus on tips and tricks for how to successfully get what you need from others when networking and creating a “sticky” message. What are the key elements of a compelling personal narrative? How do you make your own story compelling and relevant to the opportunity at hand? How can you best position yourself when you have so little real-world experience? Register HERE.

DOW JONES WILL PAY FOR YOU TO GO TO CONFERENCES THIS SUMMER

The Dow Jones News Fund invites college students studying journalism or working for student media at community colleges and four-year universities to apply for free registration to attend journalism conventions this summer.
https://dowjonesnewsfund.org/news/apply-now-to-attend-industry-events-2/

JOURNALISM LEADERSHIP WITH SPJ

The Society of Professional Journalists is looking for students who want to strengthen their leadership skills with a cohort of SPJ peers. Do you know an SPJ student member who has a drive to succeed in journalism? Who would want to build their emotional intelligence to improve their teams and colleagues? Who would benefit from learning alongside SPJ coaches who can help fine tune their skills? Then encourage them to apply for the Student Leadership Institute, sponsored by the Scripps Howard Foundation. Deadline to apply is 5 p.m. EDT April 15.

More details:
Individuals who choose to step up, with a willingness to learn and grow as leaders, are the ideal candidates. No minimum time of membership is required, and acceptance as a program participant is contingent on current membership in SPJ.

Participants will be chosen by a committee of journalism educators and professional journalists. They will focus on your drive and passion to succeed in journalism.

Preference will be given to applicants who have at least one full year of student membership in SPJ to complete after the 2021 SLI dates. However, any student member in good standing as of the application deadline may apply.

Info: https://www.spj.org/sli.aspApplication: https://www.spj.org/sli.asp#apply

NYT Harlem 911 Call Illustration of Story Logic

Selina McNeal called the police just before 2 a.m. on Wednesday because the superintendent of her apartment building was screaming obscenities and breaking glass in the hallway. She briefly opened her door and spotted him, completely naked, she said.

Minutes later, eight uniformed police officers arrived, pouring out of an elevator. As Ms. McNeal hid under the bed, she heard a struggle and officers yelling, “Shoot him! Shoot him!” Then came a series of shots. “Pop, pop, pop, pop,” she said.

In a matter of seconds, the police officers shot and killed the superintendent, who they said had pointed a gun at them. One officer grappled with the naked man before the shooting started and was shot in the chest during the struggle, the police said. His bulletproof vest stopped the slug.

On Thursday, the police said the man, identified as Victor Hernandez, 29, had fired the bullet that struck Officer Christopher Wintermute on the left side of his chest and lodged in his body armor. Mr. Hernandez’s killing was the fifth deadly shooting by the New York police in a month.

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A review of surveillance footage recovered at the scene and body cameras worn by seven of the responding officers showed that Officer Wintermute was first to arrive at the building’s second floor, the police said.

There the officer encountered a naked Mr. Hernandez in “a shooting stance” at the end of the hallway, said Deputy Chief Kevin Maloney, who leads the Force Investigation Division.

As the two men grappled, Officer Wintermute yelled for backup. Three of his colleagues responded and fired 17 rounds at Mr. Hernandez, Chief Maloney said. Ten bullets hit him.

“I did not want him dead,” Ms. McNeal said, hours after she first called the police. “I just wanted to find out what was going on.”

Mr. Hernandez, a father of two and the son of a police officer, had become the building’s superintendent fairly recently, his family members and neighbors said. Ms. McNeal said that before she called 911, Mr. Hernandez had been yelling in the hall for about 20 minutes, making vulgar threats about a woman.

The police commissioner, James P. O’Neill, said on Wednesday that the officers arrived at about 1:50 a.m. and fanned out to search the second-floor hallway of the building, at 2785 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, and encountered a naked man with a gun. “A violent struggle immediately began and shots were fired,” the commissioner said.

Image

Victor Hernandez in a photo posted to Facebook.

Chief Maloney said Mr. Hernandez had been the subject of six domestic complaints in the past. He was last arrested in 2014. He has never been accused of any crime involving drugs, weapons or violence, officials and family members said.

Ms. McNeal said that when she briefly opened the door and saw Mr. Hernandez, she did not see a weapon in his hands. “I saw something that looked like a laptop or a tablet,” she said.

During the shooting, Ms. McNeal said, she was hiding under her bed in tears. After the shots rang out, she heard officers shout, “Watch the fire.” Shortly afterward, she said she heard them yelling at one another, “Where is the gun?”

After the confrontation ended, Ms. McNeal again opened the door and saw Mr. Hernandez lying on the floor face up. The police later told her that what she thought was a tablet was actually a firearm.

“I’m still crying,” Ms. McNeal said. “I close my eyes and it’s all I can see and hear.”

ImageThe vest that stopped a bullet during the confrontation in Harlem.
Credit…New York Police Department

Mr. Hernandez’s family members and neighbors remembered him as a dedicated father to a 6-year-old daughter and an older son, a caring relative and an ambitious man who worked hard.

His aunt, Ana Martinez, said Mr. Hernandez grew up in the Crotona Park East neighborhood of the Bronx. He had taken the police officer and firefighter exams and was studying at Bronx Community College, she said.

Mr. Hernandez’s ex-wife lived in the Throgs Neck neighborhood of the Bronx, Ms. Martinez said. The two had been fighting over custody of their children, and the domestic accusations stemmed from arguments between them, Ms. Martinez said.

The ex-wife, Jaimily Hernandez, declined to comment.

Mr. Hernandez’s mother, Maria, has spent 19 years as a New York police officer, most recently in the Bronx, and he wanted to follow in her footsteps, according to Ms. Martinez. Mr. Hernandez also had relatives who were law enforcement officers in Milwaukee, Florida and Puerto Rico.

Given that Mr. Hernandez came from a law-enforcement family, Ms. Martinez said, she doubted her nephew would have acted violently toward police officers, and she disputed the characterization of him as emotionally disturbed or violent.

“They’re depicting him like he was some kind of psycho or something and he was a menace to society, but he was a person,” Ms. Martinez said. “His mom was on the force for 19 years. She served that city for 19 years, and they murdered her son.”

In a tribute posted to Facebook, Mr. Hernandez’s younger sister, Melissa, said her brother had been her best friend and her protector, an industrious, creative and loving person.

 

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Mr. Hernandez “was always good at everything,” she wrote. He learned to play piano by ear, taught himself to make high-quality videos and had strong technical and mechanical skills.

“My brother could do so many things, and it was always clear to me that he was destined for greatness,” wrote Mr. Hernandez’s sister, who declined to comment further. “Unfortunately, he’ll never get to use any of his many skills.”

Hours before the shooting, Mr. Hernandez ate dinner at a cousin’s house, Ms. Martinez said. He had also picked up his mother from the airport, where she had returned from a vacation in the Dominican Republic.

Over text message, his mother, Maria Hernandez, said, “His only contact with the police before this was domestic with his wife.”

She declined to comment further, saying: “Just know Victor was a kind, gentle soul. And my entire world.”

In Harlem, neighbors said Mr. Hernandez seemed in public to be a quiet, calm person.

Pedro Ramos, 44, who lives on the seventh floor of the building, said he had befriended Mr. Hernandez.

“He was a sane, good guy,” Mr. Ramos said with a tone of disbelief. “This shocks me.”

Jerome Selassie, 55, who owns the corner store across the street from the site of the shooting, said he saw Mr. Hernandez often and never knew him to be violent.

“I saw him last night, at around midnight,” Mr. Selassie said. “He was running to his apartment because it was raining. He waved at me. That was the last time I saw him. He looked O.K. to me.”

Image

The police officer who was shot in the incident left Mount Sinai St. Luke’s hospital in a wheelchair on Wednesday.
Credit…James Keivom for The New York Times

Officer Wintermute, 32, has been on the police force for seven years, working most of that time on patrol in the 32nd Precinct in Harlem. His wife is also a police officer.

During the struggle with Mr. Hernandez, Officer Wintermute was punched several times in the face and took the impact of the bullet hitting his Kevlar vest, officials said. Mayor Bill de Blasio said he was in “good spirits” after the shooting, and he was released from Mount Sinai St. Luke’s hospital a few hours later. Fellow officers applauded him as he was taken in a wheelchair to a waiting police van.

The police have shot and killed five people since Sept. 29, when Officer Brian Mulkeen and a armed man he was trying to arrest were killed in a police fusillade in the Bronx. Four of the shootings occurred in the past eight days.

On Oct. 15, in two separate encounters, officers fatally shot two armed men, one in the Gowanus Houses in Brooklyn and one at the 225th Street subway station in the Bronx. Two days later, also in the Bronx, a police sergeant shot and killed a man during a traffic stop.

Officer Mulkeen was the second officer to be killed by “friendly fire” this year. In February, Detective Brian Simonsen was hit in the chest and killed as he and other officers were firing at a robber in a cellphone store in Queens. The robber turned out to have a fake gun.

 

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The police said Wednesday’s incident was the 47th time this year officers have discharged their weapons in confrontations with civilians. Ten of them have died.

“It’s high in the last couple of weeks, but it’s part of where we’ve been consistent in the last couple of years,” Chief Maloney said.

Ms. Martinez said Mr. Hernandez sometimes expressed fear for his mother’s safety because she was a police officer. But his family also feared for his.

“We always told them if the police stop you, you make sure you be respectful and give them whatever they want because you don’t want them to shoot you,” Ms. Martinez recalled. “It’s hard when you have minority children, especially boys, and you have to tell them that.”

Susan Beachy contributed research.

Correction: 

Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article misspelled the given name of a resident who called the police. She is Selina McNeal, not Selena McNeal. It also misstated the age of a man who was killed. He was 29, not 27.

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